ZURICH (Reuters) - Bank Vontobel will acquire the international portfolio of U.S.-based clients from Swiss private banking peer Lombard Odier as it seeks to expand its footprint in the region, Vontobel said on Friday.
The move is part of increasing trend among Swiss banks to reestablish ties to American customers years after many financial institutions were hit with hefty fines following disputes with U.S. tax authorities over offshore wealth.
Under the deal Lombard Odier will sell its existing discretionary and advisory wealth management business with U.S-based clients through an asset transfer to Vontobel. The business manages assets of approximately 600 million Swiss francs ($602 million) for international private wealth management clients based in the United States.
In addition Vontobel will take over any of Lombard Odier’s U.S.-based brokerage private clients who want to switch to a wealth management or advisory relationship. Lombard Odier manages another roughly 600 million francs through its private brokerage, which is based in Montreal, Canada.
“North America is one of our focus markets in which we intend to achieve above-average growth,” said Georg Schubiger, head of Vontobel Wealth Management.
“With the acquisition of Lombard Odier’s discretionary and advisory wealth management business with U.S.-based clients, we are supporting our organic growth in this region.”
Vontobel said it would complete the deal, which was for an undisclosed sum, from its own funds. It was expected to be completed in the first half of 2019.
($1 = 0.9963 Swiss francs)
Reporting by John Revill, Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Michael Shields